I must replace my home's well-worn shutters. What materials will last longer and be lower maintenance than typical wood?

Asked by Emily Berlinghof
Winnetka, IL

Midwestern climate. Two-story home, main exposure is north and south.


Rick Goyette

Answered by Rick Goyette

Pawtucket, RI

Emerald Dream Builders

July 8, 2011

Over the past few years, durability has become a major tenet of green construction.

The injection of durable materials into the marketplace has changed builders' material selections, architectural specifications, and construction procedures.

As such, there are a myriad of new products available to replace your shutters.

How are your shutters used?

I would start by analyzing the specific use of your shutters.

  • Are they operational shutters that cover your home’s windows during a storm?
  • Or are they fixed and decorative architectural features?

Operational shutters

If they are in fact operational, and you find them to be a necessity during a storm, I would recommend you seek out a local contractor that specializes in shutter fabrication and customization.

This will ensure that your windows are protected properly during a storm (the durability principle should apply to your entire home, not just the shutters).

Decorative shutters

However, if you find your shutters to be purely decorative and not functional, I would recommend a composite or PVC shutter from a major manufacturer that will stand by its warranty.

With these new products, you will have a choice to buy the shutters to match a color or paint them yourself. You will find with either choice that the product will hold paint and stay brighter longer than many wood selections.

For a specific manufacturer suggestion I recommend PlyGem Mastic products.

Good luck on your project!

Tagged In: durability

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